Avoiding credit card debt

Controlling your credit card debt doesn't have to mean giving up all social activities and becoming a recluse. It does mean spending smarter, being aware of your credit card fees, being organised and paying your credit card balance off each month.

It also helps if you have the right credit card companion that works for you, not against you.

So how can you and your credit card learn to live harmoniously together?

Set limits

You need to know your limits and stick to it. We would all like to spend like Steve Jobs but unless you are earning his wage you can't afford to be spending frivolously. Whether you plan to go Christmas shopping or do your weekly grocery shop, before you leave home determine what you need by writing a list and then set yourself a budget of what you can afford to spend. It is important that you don't pay more than you can afford and don't buy more than you need so you're less likely to go over your limit.


Research has never been so easy. A simple Google search will bring up a plethora of results to suit your shopping needs so you can compare products and locate a bargain. This includes finding a great credit card which has low interest rates or some great features you could benefit from.

Take control

Before you go shopping, you need the right tools. If you don't have enough cash, ensure you have a credit card that has a low interest rate, low or no annual fees as well as a high number of interest-free days so you can save even more. Check out some of the lowest rate credit cards online at RateCity to find one that suits you. Or if you currently have a credit card but you are interested in seeing how your current card compares to others, shop around and see what you can find.

Pay off balance

The important thing to remember is that once you have bought what you need, keep control of your debt. If you can, pay off the total balance within the interest-free days and avoid being hit with interest. If you can't, try to pay off as much as you can afford so are not charged as much in interest. If you just pay the minimum amount required it could take years to pay off your debt. It may be useful to set out a budget and determine a plan to pay off your card and control your debt sooner.

Want to find your credit card companion? Use the RateCity credit card comparison tool to compare over 200 Australian credit cards.


This is an information service. By browsing on the website and/or using our search tools, you are asking RateCity to provide you with information about products from multiple financial institutions. We will try to show you a range of products in response to your request for information. The search results do not include all providers and may not compare all features relevant to you, for further details refer to our FSCG. The rating shown is only one factor to take into account when considering these products. We are not a credit provider, and in giving you product information we are not making any suggestion or recommendation to you about a particular credit product. If you decide to apply for a product, you will deal directly with a financial institution, and not with RateCity. Rates and product information should be confirmed with the relevant financial institution, and you should review the PDS before you decide to purchase. See our terms of use for further details. This advice is general and has not taken into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Consider whether this advice is right for you.